November 7, 2022


TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine and National Assistant Secretary Nick McIntosh have welcomed another four-year term delivering safer, fairer and more secure jobs for road transport and aviation workers after the AEC confirmed their re-election.

Kaine and McIntosh have vowed to focus their next four-year term on taming the Amazon Effect smashing road transport supply chains, training all union officials on holding gig arrangements to account, building on the job security improvements won by workers last year and using legislative opportunities to make transport safer, fairer and more sustainable.

TWU members recently welcomed a commitment from Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke, acting on the unanimous push from a transport roundtable ahead of the recent Jobs and Skills Summit to empower the Fair Work Commission to set enforceable standards in transport.

In aviation, the union will redouble its efforts to challenge Qantas’ aggressive tactics to suppress wages and conditions both as a supply chain client and employer. As the industry rebuilds, workers will stand together across sectors and companies to ensure standards are raised to address chronic understaffing, low pay, insecure work and unsafe conditions.

With an appetite across industry and government to update the archaic industrial relations system, Kaine, who also holds the role of Vice President at the ACTU, says TWU members are ready to stand shoulder to shoulder to address deadly pressures in transport and the cost-of-living crisis.

“TWU members are front and centre of our work to improve the lives of transport workers and their families. Re-election is a powerful endorsement of our strategy to lift standards for all transport workers without exception, which we will not take for granted. We’ll fight every day to deliver on and strengthen our collective plan to tackle the Amazon Effect and rein in the Qantas dictatorship.

“Last year we saw thousands of transport workers stand up and face off job security threats brought by the unregulated gig tsunami. We’re seeing the unity of transport workers reflected throughout the industry, with supply chain clients, gig companies, major transport operators and industry groups linking arms with workers to call for reform for a fairer, safer and more sustainable transport industry.

“Brave aviation workers rocked the business world defeating Qantas not once but twice in the Federal Court over their illegal sackings. There is a steep uphill climb, but a challenge workers are ready to take on, to rebuild aviation and prise the industry from the grasp of unscrupulous executives lining their own pockets at the expense of workers, passengers and the Australian taxpayer.

“It’s a privilege to stand at the helm of a union that will not relent in our mission to save lives on our roads, lift industry standards, and end unfair, exploitative tactics to pit workers against one other.”

TWU National Assistant Secretary Nick McIntosh said:

“There’s a buzz in the industry and particularly within our membership that we are on the cusp of reviving transport from an industry all-but abandoned by the former government, hanging on by a thread with deadly consequences, to a prosperous industry where all participants can thrive.

“TWU members have led the charge to create safer roads and skies and ensure all workers and their families are protected. As a union, we will continue to maximise every opportunity at our disposal now and in the future to challenge economic powers driving down standards in transport and aviation.

We look forward to another term working hard alongside the TWU’s strong rank-and-file membership to deliver an ambitious and important plan to improve our industry.”



The previous election term was one of the most tumultuous periods for transport workers, but with some major successes for TWU members, including:

  • Road transport workers winning job security protections and CPI pay rises
  • The first 15% superannuation contributions at major transport operators
  • Signing a charter with Coles for supply chain safety and fairness
  • Quashing Aldi’s attempt to silence transport workers’ safety concerns
  • Signing charters with gig giants Uber and DoorDash
  • Winning an unfair dismissal case and backpay for Foodora food delivery riders
  • Reinstating the jobs of two unfairly sacked Hungry Panda riders and riders’ pay rates
  • A Federal Government commitment to set enforceable standards in transport
  • Playing a significant role in ensuring Virgin’s survival and commitment to jobs
  • Defeating Qantas twice in the Federal Court over their illegal sackings
  • Converting insecure aviation jobs to more permanent, full-time positions

Michael Kaine bio

Michael was admitted as a solicitor of NSW in 1999 after completing his Arts/Law degree at UNSW. Prior to working with the TWU, he was employed by the NSW Crown Solicitor’s Office, working in the areas of community law and torts.

Later in 1999, Michael began his career at the TWU NSW Branch as the organiser responsible for owner drivers in trucking, leading worker actions to protect enforceable standards for transport workers in the state. Michael was later part of the Safe Rates Advisory Group of the Gillard Labor Government which created the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.

Building strength within the TWU between road transport and aviation, Michael has led calls for a Safe and Secure Skies Commission to rebalance the industry towards secure jobs and quality services.

As a key figure in the union movement, Michael has also led the charge to kick banks out of superannuation as well as daringly taking on multinational giants in the gig economy such as Amazon to protect Australia’s hard-earned workers’ rights. Michael also holds the positions of Vice President of the ACTU, and Asia Pacific Chair of the International Transport workers’ Federation, a leading role in fight for Safe Rates internationally.

Nick McIntosh bio

Nick joined the TWU in 2006, starting out in member services before moving into the legal department. In 2013, Nick headed up the South Coast sub-branch in Wollongong. He then held the position of Assistant Secretary of the NSW Branch from 2016.

In 2018, Nick joined Michael to lead the national campaigns as National Assistant Secretary. In 2021, Nick played a lead role in bargaining and protected industrial action across thousands of road transport workers to secure job security protections, as well as CPI-linked pay increases and industry-first 15% superannuation.

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